A Travellerspoint blog

Russia

Night Train 116 to St Petersberg & the Hermitage

Our last train in Russia :(

sunny 23 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

large_20190830_234715.jpg

A reminder that you must plan ahead! We left the train booking to the last minute and despite more than 40 trains per day between Moscow and SPB, we struggled to get tickets. Ended up we could not get two beds in the same berth, but at least we were in the same carriage.

Train 116 was a shocker. Very old and slow. I gues the locals know this, and it is the reason we could get tickets. Departed Moscow midnight and arrived SPB at a civilised 9:15am.

Got a real bargin for accomodation (Hotel Nevesky 5 $70 night) 2 minutes from Metro and 3 minutes from Hermitage. They allowed early check-in too, so we were able to head off for an afternoon in the Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace) $15 each.

large_20190830_134429.jpg

The Hermitage is enourmous. A museum of antiquities on floor one, an art gallery on floor two to rival the Louvre (including all the famous ninja turtles - Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello) and other displays on floor three. All set in a huge palace (in fact three inconnecting palaces). Oppulence and gold overload.

Hmm..now what will I wear today?

large_20190830_161220.jpg

Silliest hair award...

large_20190830_150758.jpg

[insert your own caption here]

large_20190830_152029.jpg

Art work...so many famous names

large_20190830_164836.jpg

large_20190830_160457.jpg

large_20190830_173826.jpg

large_20190830_173936.jpg

large_20190830_173708.jpg

large_20190830_175941.jpg

Inside

large_20190830_153014.jpg

large_20190830_165117.jpg

large_20190830_175617.jpg

large_20190830_145512.jpg

large_20190830_142251.jpg

large_20190830_152919.jpg

large_20190830_162009.jpg

large_20190830_152936.jpg

large_20190830_152444.jpg

large_20190830_145443.jpg

large_20190830_150304.jpg

large_20190830_145315.jpg

A very royal star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png star.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:21 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

VDNKh Park

The highlight of Moscow

sunny 24 °C

Had breakfast in the hotel to live harp music !! Could stay here for ever !!

Today was for the much anticipated VDNKh Park. Once again we refer to Irena's blog as the ultimate source of information for our entire trip Russiau.

Hands down, this was our favorite thing in Moscow and probably all of Russia. It is hard to explain what VDNKh Park is. It is a monument to the glory days of the Soviet Union. It is a HUGE park full of attractions and is mostly free. Every ex-soviet country has a representitive pavillion and they are all over-the-top with beautiful architecture. Add to this the outrageous fountains, gardens and entrance arches. This park kept us entertained for the whole day.

VDNKh train station

large_20190829_123223.jpg

First stop the Cosmonauts museum

large_20190829_124027.jpg

large_20190829_130059.jpg

large_20190829_135847.jpg

Dunny from the Mir Space Station (The yellow bit looks intimidating)

large_20190829_140236.jpg

Belka and Strelka -The actual first dogs (stuffed) that made it back to Earth from a space mission (Laika was the first but never returned).

large_20190829_131220.jpg

The entrance to VDNKh

large_20190829_145409.jpg

large_20190829_160522.jpg

large_20190829_150503.jpg

large_20190829_172512.jpg

large_20190829_150545.jpg

Inside the park

large_20190829_161237.jpg

large_20190829_171105.jpg

large_20190829_172917.jpg

large_20190829_180337.jpg

large_20190829_160358.jpg

large_20190829_162836.jpg

large_20190829_163256.jpg

large_20190829_172818.jpg

large_20190829_163436.jpg

large_20190829_175904.jpg

large_20190829_162643.jpg

large_20190829_172318.jpg

large_20190829_170922.jpg

large_20190829_171259.jpg

large_20190829_172422.jpg

large_20190829_171216.jpg

large_f79bead0-cd02-11e9-a0ab-49c494f56bda.jpg

We had a late night train journey, so filled in some time at the Museum of Gulags ($6 each), which closed at 9pm (this typical for Russia in summer). The museum was average.

large_20190829_191915.jpg

After an exhausting day, we returned to the hotel to collect our bags thenn headed off to the railway station for the 8 hour journey to St Petersberg.

Truly back in the USSR and star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png star.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 14:50 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Moscow Parks

Free things to do in Moscow

sunny 22 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

Got the shits with our dodgy hotel so ask for a refund on our last night and moved to the amazing Soviestky Historic hotel situated 20 minutes out of the city ($120 per night inc breakfast). It has hosted a lot of dignatories including Maggie Thatcher, Pierre Cardin, Arnold Swazernegger, Gandi, Breshnev, Stalin and now.... us!! The rooms were in 1950s Soviet style and enormous. The bathroom was bigger than the entire room of our last hotel.

large_08f396f0-ccfb-11e9-a852-d10aa9c8f540.jpg

large_20190828_124842.jpg

large_20190828_130221.jpg

large_20190828_125014.jpg

large_20190828_130127.jpg

large_20190828_124638.jpg

large_20190828_124903.jpg

There was a bell in the room to call the maid and the butler !!

large_20190828_221555.jpg

After spending a heap of money yesterday, we consulted the "free things to do" web sites and discovered Moscow has a lot of beautiful parks, so we chose Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno, a park with a palace (of course), gardens and lakes.

large_20190828_171235.jpg

large_20190828_171515.jpg

large_20190828_165219.jpg

large_20190828_180422.jpg

Felt like a king and a star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:20 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Moscow Kremlin

A lot of stuffing around and expensive

sunny 20 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

The afternoon was for the Kremlin and museums within. It was always going to be an expensive day. The ticket system is a shambles and online is no better. Virtually no information, different tickets need to be purchased from different locaions, long queues (sometimes to nowhere) and a lot of pissed off people (including Russians). We had done a reccy yesterday and read blogs about how to efficiently get tickets. For us it was quite organised.

Kremlin ($15 each) - Not a lot to see - about 1-2 hours. Basically churches and burial place of Tsars. Government buildings off course off limits.

large_20190827_171544.jpg

large_20190827_175446.jpg
Those Russian's had big balls

large_20190827_174029.jpg
This is the massive bell that was dropped on delivery by ship

large_20190827_173629.jpg
Note the last guy. His job is to pick up the shit.

Armoury ($22 each) - very impressive collection of treasures (very little armour infact). Around 2 hours to see.

Diamond Fund ($11 each) - impressive collection of jewels similar to Tower of London. Around 1 hour to see. No photos allowed, but heres one from the internet.

large_af-main-banner-04.jpg

For anyone going -
Dont go early, you just stand in long queues. We arrived about 13:30.

Armoury Museum - Margaret got into the queue for the Armoury (the most popular museum). Not super obvious that these tickets are only sold from one of the 10 ticket booths. Yesterday the queue was out the building and more that an hour. At 1pm it was only 10 minutes. Tickets were not available on line and can only be purchased for a timed session in the day. 14:30 session. 700 Rub each

General tickets (so called Cathedral tickets) - At the same time Mike got the General entry tickets from a vending machine inside (that no body tells you about and has no queue). You just walk inside the ticket office, walk past all the queues and use the machine. 1000 Rub each

Diamond Fund - this is the trickiest ticket to obtain. Only small groups of 20 are allowed at restricted times during the day. There is usually an extremely long queue to buy tickets. We fluked tickets very easily. On the way out of the Armoury there is a place to but tickets with no queue. And we timed it perfectly for the 4pm session. 500 Rub each.

In summary - a lot of stress and stuffing around, but I guess it was worth it.

Dinner again at a Grabli (there are 10 branches).

large_grabli.jpg

A thoroughly exhausting star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 15:19 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Moscow Metro

Best $1.20 you can spend in Moscow

sunny 20 °C
View Back in the USSR on MikeinCairns's travel map.

Have split this big day into two blogs. AM: Amazing Moscow Metro and PM: Kremlin and museums

Had a problem with the room next door, so hotel moved us to new room. Then had breakfast in hotel (included in room rate) and it was ordinary. Unfortunetly, Matreshka turn out to be a bad choice of hotel. But it is a top location just one minte from a metro station, and five minutes walk to the Red Square.

This morning we did a Moscow Metro self-guided tour. This is the best (almost free) thing to do in Moscow. We spent all morning looking at stations for the cost of a single $1.20 ticket! Plenty of others have better pictures and blogs than us.

Blog 1
Blog 2

Here are a few of our shots (acually quite a lot because we loved it so much). The stations:

large_20190826_162509.jpg

large_20190826_162046.jpg

large_20190826_161130.jpg

large_20190826_161721.jpg

large_20190826_154817.jpg

large_20190826_161644.jpg

large_20190826_160323.jpg

large_20190826_160626.jpg

large_20190827_134047.jpg

large_20190827_132202.jpg

The motifs:

large_bcbc98f0-c9de-11e9-9029-69912b1a2106.jpg

large_20190827_130922.jpg

large_20190827_130936.jpg

large_20190827_131100.jpg

large_20190827_132155.jpg

large_20190827_125031.jpg

large_20190827_134440.jpg

large_20190827_130033.jpg

large_20190827_131017.jpg

large_20190826_161847.jpg

large_20190826_160427.jpg

large_20190826_160356.jpg

large_20190826_161245.jpg

large_20190826_162429.jpg

large_20190826_161042.jpg

large_20190826_162020.jpg

In the afternoon we headed to the Kremlin.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:19 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 31) Previous « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 » Next